Poll Watch: Americans Health Habits Decline as Winter Approaches


According to the latest Gallup Poll.

As is typical during the winter season, Americans report exercising less. The percentage of adults who reported exercising frequently — for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week — fell to 49.8% in November, from 52.2% in October and from the year’s high of 54.5% in July. Fewer Americans exercised frequently last month than did in November of last year (50.5%).

Americans typically exercise more in the spring and summer and less in the fall and winter. Frequent exercise usually drops to its lowest point in December of each year and beings to improve again in January.

The percentage of Americans reporting that they exercise frequently was relatively low through the fall of 2008 and much of 2009, amid the worst of the economic crisis. However, the percentage who reported frequent physical activity was generally higher in 2010 and has since remained at somewhat higher levels. The average percentage of Americans who exercised frequently was 51.5% in 2010, 49.6% in 2009, and 51.4% in 2008.

It is all about the weather in the United States. I am blessed with year around temperate weather here in California for running, although it is cold in the morning and evening.

With regards to healthy eating, it is MORE expensive to eat fresh produce and vegetables in the winter. This could be a function of the economy, but more than likely, the cultural year end holidays also play a role.

One good thing is that healthy habits do rebound when spring arrives.


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